A Guide to Dream Interpretation
Down the Rabbit Hole 

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Transition symbols in dreams such as a cave, hole, tunnel, or a hallway can lead one into the unconscious and a transformed state. When Alice fell down the rabbit hole she entered a period of confusion and chaos, a place of change and transformation.



"The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well. 

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next."

–Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The White Rabbit in this story was serving as the archetypal Trickster that lured Alice into the hole that lead to the unconscious so that she could explore her naughty side e.g. her negative, or shadow, side. It was also an opportunity for her to get in touch with her power. A third level of awareness was also offered Alice in her dream that of being able to compensate for her lack of power in her waking world due to her age and sibling order. In this world she was introduced to many aspects of her nature and was able to confront and perhaps accept them. For Alice this dream was part of her Individuation process, the process toward becoming a fully functional person.


Falling itself had a meaning that spoke to failure,or loss of power and control (which would not be an unusual feeling for the youngest child and sister), or the failure to be cautious. As she fell down the hole she said to herself,


"After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house."

Though she was falling, her descent was more like flying with a sense of independence attached to it. There's also a sense of regaining some personal control in the process. There's also a feeling of potential freedom and release associated with transcendant states. One may be releasing from the boredom and restraints of the life they find themselves in.

A hole can represent the start of a change—a transformation. Where does it lead?

A well can represent your deepest most transcendent wisdom or information about your unconscious. It can be a view into your depths. What does it reveal?

The cave in a dream often represents inner or hidden issues. It is a part of the underworld, your underworld—the unconscious. What do you find in your cave? What are you keeping hidden? Where does it lead? Are you hiding here? From what?

The Underground—the hidden side of the self, as in where the shadow lies and the depths of your experience. This symbol can also be represented by a Subway. Here sexual desires and unexpressed potentials lie. Graves are also underground and usually refer to the death of something, as in the end of something. Is a part of yourself dead? Often the underground is likened to the Otherworld—the mystical world beyond the veil of reality—where the soul is said to reside and where our spirits are said to live. What we came from and will return to.

A tunnel in a dream speaks to a pathway you may have created into your unconscious, a opening to your innermost feelings and memories. It can also be the way to a birth of something (a rebirth or resurrection of something) as in the birth canal. Where does it lead?


Through small tunnels ancient visitors to the Asklepians of Greece would seek a dream healing by passing through a tunnel into the womb of the earth. Hippocrates established the first school for medical practices on the Island of Kos in Greece. Dream Healing techniques were taught here as well.


                          Tunnel entry to an Asklepion Dream Healing place in Turkey


A hallway can reveal how various parts (aspects) of you (your house) connect. A hallway can represent a means for the outside world to enter your intimate life. Where does it lead?

This can also be a Corridor—a no man's land, an in between place, or being stuck in between or being trapped in an unsatisfactory place in your life. Is this corridor leading toward some end, or ending?

The rabbit hole one enters may also represent regression—a turning inward, sometimes to escape from problems, or boredom, or to return to, or tarry in a simpler—more innocent time. Wasn't this what Alice was doing?

The hole can also be a Pit and represent the Void, a place of emptiness, where feelings of being trapped prevail. In facing the void, when falling into it, we fall into the nothing, but with the potential for everything and the transformation of our imagined limits. Within lies the power for change and liberation. Wasn't this so for Alice?

Going down the Rabbit-Hole is also a euphemism for becoming enlightened. In the 2009 movie Sherlock Holmes: Holmes for the Holiday, Holmes referred to the rabbit-hole in his process during the case he was on, "Although I went deeper into the rabbit-hole than I intended, I brushed the dirt from my fluffy white tail and emerged enlightened".

To tumble down the rabbit hole is to fall into the reality of your self and to wake up from your waking dream.

Alice also passed through a mirror into another world previously hidden to her. Though Mirrors can symbolically represent your self-image, or identity, they can also symbolize looking into the unconscious to see who you are, or to see what you're hiding. What you see may be confusing, or even the opposite of what you thought. This too can provide information. Neuroscientists suggest that there are mirror neurons that fire when certain behaviors of others are observed and serve to aid humans in understanding one anothers actions and are important to both imitation and language development. Might this system be critical to the process of projection i.e. what we perceive as reality? What does your mirror reflect?

Death also can be seen as a transition point from one state of being to another. Often people who have died are said to have passed through to the other side. Perhaps in death one lets go of one way of being in order to be reborn into another. This is why death shows up in so many dreams, not only as a means of coming to terms with our ultimate demise, but as a metaphor for change, transition, or transcendence.

All of this presupposes an entrance (an opening, passage, or a door) which is often seen as a symbol for new experiences, or opportunities, or the passing between one state of being or feeling into another and leading to a new realization. Where does it lead? Doors can also suggest how open, or accessible, you are to people and ideas. Is it shut and locked? Does someone else shut the door, thus limiting your access, or progress? Doors can also be entrances to new stages of life. Early in my carreer I had a woman, a bruja, who in a dream invited me to enter into the mysteries of a garden hidden behind a door. I've been exploring that garden of the soul, the unchartered unconscious, ever since.

They also suggest transit—a symbol for change (transition). The how of the transit (walking, crawling, falling, riding, running, flying, jumping, dying) can add meaning e.g. walking can signify a confident entrance to the unconscious, while falling can indicate an out-of-control, accidental, and chaotic quality to the transit. Where, how, or what are you transiting toward?


Rabbit Holes, Worm Holes, and Black Holes

A wormhole is a sort of tunnel through space, through which matter can pass. In order to understand what a wormhole is, imagine a rabbit hole in the ground, which has only two openings. If you were to have the ground represent space, then the rabbit hole is the wormhole.

Although you can travel between the two entrances by walking along the ground (space), you could also go between the entrances through the rabbit hole (wormhole). Wormholes could be useful because the journey through the tunnel is, more often than not, much shorter than the ground above it. This may be why wormholes are often referred to as shortcuts through space.

Black Holes may be the remnant of super gigantic stars that have run out of their life sustaining energy and collapsed upon themselves creating a huge density well with super massive gravitational gravity forces that can trap everything including light. These are believed be at the center of every galaxy.


Besides just leading toward other places, wormholes can also be portals into the past, and possibly even lead to different Universes! Some scientists postulate that a super massive Black Hole may very well be a Worm Hole that might lead to other dimensions. Is this what Alice went through?


The symbolism of a tunnel leading from one state of being to another seems to be anchored in reality as well.



Notice how all the above form their own coherence—the internal logic of your dreams also provides information. Dreams are not just meaningless chaos, unless of course you have one that is just meaningless chaos, and that too means something (anyone notice a lack of order or predictability in their life?).

Both the sleeping world and waking world provide information that you can use to interpret and actualize change, or transformation. In the waking world notice what you fantasize about through your imagination, what stories do you tell yourself to entertain or daydream over? What recurrent drama(s) shows up in your waking life? What does this tell you about your unconscious desires and needs? What do your fantasies and stories tell you about your motives? Remember, it's all about you—it's all a projection from you.


This phrase can also be said when taking a hallucinogenic, as some suspect Carroll's novel was really about a drug trip.

School's starting up again, time to "Go Down the Rabbit Hole" once more. Some sexual connotations.

Other meanings of the phrase:

•Coming (or going) from one life (stage, phase, chapter) into another.

•Jumping into something new and stressful. Are you looking where your leaping?

•Starting school again.

•Recreating your life. Starting anew.

•Letting go of the old ways.

•Walking into something new without any knowledge of how it will turn out.

•Facing new potentials.

•Leaping into the unconscious.

•Change of perspective and sense of reality e.g. transformation of reality (see you tube video below).

•Entering the unknown—the confusing.

•Embracing any radically new idea, especially those where there aren't many (or any) people who are willing to go along with you.

•Falling into a never ending addiction.


TheDragon'sTreasure is about transformation found through the medium of the dream—both the waking and the sleeping dream.


To purchase a copy

To read about another transcendant journey into the underworld of the spirit you may want to read The Archipelago of Dreams: The Island of the Dream Healer to be found on the Book Purchase page.